In most cases, people find themselves unable to differentiate jails from prisons. Others even end up with difficulties in comparing the backgrounds of male and female inmates. This may be due to lack of adequate information about the general criminal life, and poor culture of visiting inmates (Flowers, 1995).
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There are differences and similarities between inmates in jails and those locked up in prisons. Inmates in jails are either waiting for their trial or have been convicted for jail terms that are less than one year while inmates in prisons have either been convicted for committing criminal offenses or are serving sentences that are more than one year. Inmates in jails are under the custody of local authorities like county governments, while inmates in prisons are under the custody of the state or country governments.
Inmates in jails enjoy very few social amenities while their counterparts in prison enjoy a wide range of amenities that are available to them. This is due to the difference in sizes of the facilities, which allows prisons to have the ability to host so many amenities compared to jails. Inmates in jails are not under very tight security while their counterparts in prisons are always under very tight security. Inmates in jails are normally small in number while inmates in prisons have the greatest number.
Inmates in jails are locked up together regardless of the crimes they committed, or are suspected of having committed while those in prisons are put behind bars in different areas and according to the degree of their crimes. Despite the differences between inmates in jail and their counterparts in prisons, there are similarities between the two groups of convicts.
Inmates in jails and prisons are all treated as criminals, and there is always a security to stop them from escaping. Both inmates in prisons and jails may have committed a certain crime or are suspected of having committed crimes. Inmates in jails and prisons all have limited freedom (Seiter, 2011).
Inmates, both male and female, have backgrounds that led them to the prisons or jails. In all the backgrounds of both female and male inmates, there exist some similarities and differences. There are those factors that could have led to the conviction of male inmates, but did not and cannot lead to the conviction of female inmates. For example, male inmates may have backgrounds of rape, while female inmates cannot be convicted for cases that relate to rape.
This is because biologically, women cannot get involved in rape cases. Male inmates could have backgrounds that relate to cases of sodomy while their female counterparts may never have backgrounds of such cases. There are also backgrounds that may be common in both male and female inmates. Both may have been convicted of robbery with violence, child abuse, drug abuse, theft, drug trafficking, or murder (Flowers, 1995).
In conclusion, there is a lot of information about prisons and jails, which unknown to most people. Majority of people confuse prisons for jails, thinking they are synonyms. They are not aware that the former is bigger compared to the latter. They are also uninformed that, upon observation of backgrounds of both female and male inmates, one would realize that there are crimes that can lead to a man’s conviction but cannot lead to a woman’s conviction.
Everyone should dedicate some time and visit prisons and jails to learn the differences and similarities that exist between the two correctional institutions. They should also make an effort of knowing the possible crimes that lead to the conviction of different genders, as well as acquire information about prisons.
Flowers, R. B. (1995). Female Crime, Criminals, and Cellmates: An Exploration of Female Criminality and Delinquency. Jefferson: McFarland.
Seiter, R. P. (2011). Corrections: An Introduction. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education/Prentice Hall.